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Planning Your Wedding: The Checklist Before the Checklist

Planning your wedding? Check out our tips on getting started, then contact one of our Certified Wedding Planners to help make your dream wedding a reality.

Getting engaged is an exciting time, but also a stressful one. Congratulations and well-wishes quickly turn into questions: where are you getting married, are you hosting an outdoor or indoor ceremony, have you found a DJ or band yet, what is your color scheme? Planning your wedding suddenly becomes a full-time job, and even the most well-organized brides can find themselves stressed out and exhausted between monitoring vendors, appeasing family, and trying to do it all within a budget.

Luckily, Wonderful Weddings & Events is here to help! Our Certified Wedding Planners can guide you through the entire planning process from start to finish, or they can offer day-of wedding planning so that your only job on the day of your wedding is to relax and have fun. Whatever you need, our wedding planners are here for you.

To help you start thinking about your big day, we’ve put together a few wedding tips, from location to theme to whether you’d like a spring or fall wedding. We’ve also included a WeddingWire vendor timeline to help you visualize when certain vendors are booked throughout the planning process. It’s one way to keep your wedding planning ideas in order – though this is something that our wedding planners do for you in the months leading up to your big day, so you don’t have to stress!

Take a look at our tips below, and then contact us to see how we can design your dream wedding!

planning your wedding checklist weddingwire vendor checklist Wonderful Weddings and EventsSpring, Summer, Fall, Winter: Selecting Your Wedding Season

When selecting a date by season, keep in mind any peak and off-peak pricing for wedding packages, hotel accommodations, flights, and flowers. Flowers and certain colors are seasonal, so if your heart is set on sunflowers or tulips, you want to have your wedding when they are in season, or the prices will be double (or even triple) the price. Also, consider any family and friends who might have to travel for your wedding: if you book the wedding on or around a holiday, the travel costs (including your honeymoon!) might be more expensive.

How to Pick Your Wedding Theme

The most important thing to consider when picking a theme is your budget. Once you establish your budget and know how much you have for décor, then you can elaborate on a specific theme. Some factors to keep in mind are copyright infringements, and if your theme will fit into the season (like a beach theme in the winter, or a winter wonderland in the summer, etc.) Our wedding planners work closely with each couple to ensure that any final theme is a reflection of their interests, hobbies, and dreams. We also make sure to design a wedding where the theme is tastefully incorporated without distracting from the true focus: the wedding couple, their nuptials, and a celebration of their marriage.

Destination or Local: Choosing Your Wedding Location

When looking at a destination wedding, there are three key factors to consider: airfare, hotel accommodations, and the possibility of all-inclusive pricing for your wedding. If the all-inclusive price of the wedding is a good deal but the airfare and accommodations are astronomical, then family and friends might not be able to afford to travel to your wedding at all. If opting for a local wedding, your key factors are: venue prices, parking costs, and affordable overnight accommodations. Most couples are already familiar with venue costs, but few think about fees to park a vehicle, which can run anywhere from $10-25 per car. A wedding couple might have to incur this cost as part of their budget for the wedding, or guests will have to pay that fee themselves. Even local guests might want to stay overnight in a nearby hotel to avoid driving home from a wedding where they might have been drinking. Whether you stay local or decide to fly for your wedding, our planners can help you find the best values for each option so that neither you nor your guests incur additional and unnecessary costs.

How to Decide Between an Indoor or Outdoor Wedding

Considering an outdoor wedding? Keep these in mind: weather (heat, cold, wind, rain,) ground water drainage, bugs and pest control, ample lighting, noise pollution, being in the public eye, shoes and attire, uneven ground, noise ordinances or curfews, public restroom availability, power drops, tent cost, HVAC costs, kitchen proximity, loading access for vendors, as well as what equipment is included in your outdoor venue versus what needs to be rented (chairs, tables, stage, dance floor, etc.)

A lot goes into an outdoor wedding and there are endless details to manage, but our wedding planners have spent years managing outdoor events and will handle everything from overseeing guest parking to loading the final chair into the rental van after your reception. Want an outdoor wedding ceremony, reception, or both? We can design it!

For an indoor wedding, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind about each venue possibility: would there be another event taking place next to your ballroom, would you share an air wall, is there enough power to run your lighting and your entertainment (including heat lamps and up-lighting,) how much time is allotted for loading and unloading, is there a noise curfew, and would the room need drapery to hide any defects or unwanted colors of paint or wall coverings?

One of our wedding planners will help you through all of these questions so that nothing becomes overwhelming, but these are helpful things to keep in mind when you meet with one another and start touring venues.

You’re Ready to Meet Your Wedding Planner! What to Expect at Your First Appointment

When one of our wedding planners meets with a new couple for the first time, we always like to gather the nitty gritty: contact information, which vendors and venue they might have already chosen (along with the contact information for each,) and the couple’s expectations for etiquette, special customs, and family needs (family members with special needs, unusual or special circumstances, etc.). If we will be handling the vendor hiring and budget management, then we’ll also create the budget priority list so that we know how and where to allocate the money to give our couple the biggest bang for their buck. And above all, the first appointment is an important time for us to get to know our couple in terms of who they are and what they envision for their wedding.


Now that we’ve gotten you started, it’s time to contact us to really get your wedding plans underway!

Know someone else who is planning a wedding? Send them a link to this blog of tips to help them get started, and then have them contact us to enjoy the rest of the wedding planning stress-free!

planning your wedding checklist weddingwire vendor checklist feature image Wonderful Weddings and Events

Elegant Alfond Inn Wedding

Every wedding we plan is special to us, and Hannah and James’s elegant Alfond Inn Wedding was no less! Since Hannah and James have been living in Georgia for work, it was Hannah’s mother, Susan, who reached out to us and joined us for every fun-filled meeting. And with Susan on our team, the result was the most stunning day imaginable!

The day began beautifully. The sun shone brightly, illuminating every little detail and making every photo by Cricket’s Photography simply magical. Hannah was a picture-perfect bride, with her hair styled into an elegant updo by Kristy’s Artistry Design Team, dressed in a beautiful sleeveless ivory gown with a full skirt from Calvet Couture Bridal! For a little something old, she slipped a sixpence – that had been passed down in her family for generations – into her shoe.

And it was no wonder that James looked smitten as she walked down the aisle. Their ceremony at Knowles Memorial Chapel was so romantic, though it wasn’t without its minor hitches! During the ceremony, the best man accidentally dropped the ring! But, far from being a bridezilla, Hannah just enjoyed a laugh over the event and continued being a happy, easygoing bride.

Following the ceremony and some beautiful photos, it was time to celebrate. The reception at the Alfond Inn was every bit as stunning as the ceremony, with soft, romantic lighting and beautiful, petite floral arrangements adorning the room. The wine goblets on the tables and lovely cake toppers, which had once belonged to Hannah’s grandparents, added some old-world charm.

After an evening of dancing and indulging in the delicious cake by Party Flavors Custom Cakes, it was time to say goodbye to the newlyweds as they embarked on the next chapter of their journey together.

Congratulations again, Hannah and James! Your elegant Alfond Inn wedding was just beautiful, and we’re so honored to have planned your special day!



Photography, Cinematography, and Photo Booth: Cricket’s Photo and Cinema

Wedding Planners: Susie Weiss and Barbara White with Wonderful Weddings

Reception: Alfond Inn

Ceremony: Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College

Hair and makeup: Kristy’s Artistry Design Team

Floral: Flourish Floral Productions

Cake: Party Flavors Custom Cakes

Band: Wings of Sound

Ceremony Music: Harpstrings with Catherine Way (harp and violin)

Gown: Hayley Paige from Calvet Couture Bridal

Tux: Absolutely Fitting, Winter park

Invitation: Vera Wang from Maureen Hall Stationery and Invitations

Stunning Ballroom at Church Street Wedding

Here’s a blast from the past! Lindsay and Matt had a stunning Ballroom at Church Street wedding back in 2011, but the memories of that day are never far from our minds!

The July weather was pleasant, not too hot, with lots of sunshine. The soft lighting and chandelier lent a mystical aura to the indoor ceremony, while the white and yellow theme – so simple but unique – really stood out.

Lindsay was a vision as she walked down the aisle. Her ivory gown with a sweetheart neckline, her romantic half-up hairstyle, and her royal blue heels all came together to create the look of a picture-perfect bride. Matt, was quite the handsome groom in his tan suit, accented by a daffodil boutonniere that was almost as bright as his smile. It was heartwarming to see the love that these two had for each other!

One of the things that made this wedding so memorable was the color scheme. White and yellow is such a unique combination, and the pops of yellow throughout the wedding instantly brought a touch of warmth and sunshine to the room. The colors were just right for a sweet, naturally cheerful couple like Lindsay and Matt.

Soon after the ceremony, it was time to celebrate! The reception had a sophisticated, chic feel to it, thanks to a bit of black added to the color scheme. Everything was just right, from the chandeliers and beautiful lighting to the yellow floral arrangements on the tables. The couch by the dance floor definitely made a style statement as well!

It felt like we could keep the party going forever, but eventually, this stunning ballroom at Church Street wedding had to end, and everyone gathered to say goodbye to Lindsay and Matt. But instead of throwing rice during the send-off, guests enjoyed raining down a shower of silly string!

All of the personal touches came together to ensure that Lindsay and Matt’s vibrant personalities showed through, and the entire day was a perfect reflection of the couple! Coordinating this stunning ballroom at Church Street wedding was a pleasure; and we enjoyed working with many great vendors.

Coordination: Wonderful Weddings Orlando

Venue: Ballroom at Church Street

Celebrant: Chaplain George Geans

Pianist: Jonathan Archer

Hair and Makeup: Gabrielle Tucci

Photographer: Damon Tucci Photography

Videographer: Simply Cinematic

Florist: Botanica

Décor: Design Elements

Lighting: Kaleidoscope Lighting

Rentals: Kirby Rental

Chairs: A Chair Affair

Catering/Wedding Cake: Puff n Stuff Catering

Groom’s Cake: Party Flavors

Transportation: Rick’s Classic Cars

New Year’s Eve Wedding: Dayna and Alex

There are few better ways to ring in the New Year than with a wedding! It was an absolute pleasure to not just plan Dayna and Alex’s wedding, but to celebrate their new beginning and the New Year together at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts!

bride entrance

bride and groom

Damon Tucci Photography did a brilliant job, capturing every precious moment every step of the way. The evening began with a sweet, heartwarming church ceremony. Dayna was a vision in a heavenly white gown, her makeup and hair lovingly styled by About Face Design Team. Alex, for his part, looked very dashing as he waited for his bride at the altar.



flower girls

ring barer ring barer

The room was just buzzing with excitement. Perhaps the most excited guests of all were the youngest – Dayna and Alex made sure to include 14 of their nieces, nephews, and cousins in the wedding, all of whom were positively beaming! Soon after the ceremony, it was time to celebrate. But for Dayna, an animal lover, the day would’ve been incomplete without her dogs! Fortunately, two of her dogs were brought over to the church, resulting in the most adorable photo session!bride, groom, pet


The reception at Dr. Phillips was truly stunning, with guests greeted by topiary animals at the entrance as they walked in. The interior was lavishly adorned, with beautiful, luxurious chairs and gorgeous decor, but the star of the show was the magnificent floral chandelier created by Flourish Floral Productions

Once the music began for the New Orleans Second Line Dance, there wasn’t a single person who could stay off the dance floor! Dayna and Alex’s energy was infectious, and their beautiful umbrellas made for a dance we couldn’t keep our eyes off of!

reception deocrreception lightingnye wedding fundr phillips center

The rest of the evening was spent feasting on the delicious meal by Arthur’s Catering and Events, dancing to Blonde Ambition’s tunes, and counting down the minutes till midnight! As soon as midnight hit on the digital countdown, everyone rejoiced, welcoming 2017 with confetti, noisemakers, and lots of love all around! Blonde Ambition played Auld Lang Syne, as a farewell to 2016.

bride and groom

New Year’s Eve Wedding

happy new year

The reception ended with a confetti launch as Dayna and Alex prepared to say goodbye to their guests, ready to begin the New Year and the next chapter of their lives together. Congratulations again, Dayna and Alex! Thank you so much for trusting us to plan your Special Day, and many thanks to the vendors that helped us make it possible!


Venue: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Floral: Flourish Floral Productions

Catering: Arthur’s Catering and Events

Makeup and Hair: About Face Design Team

Transportation: VIP Wedding Transportation

Photography: Damon Tucci Photography

Videography: Cricket’s Photography

Cake: Party Flavors Custom Cakes

Live Painter: Jacob Neagle

Band: Blonde Ambition


Hiring a Wedding Planner in Orlando

Why hire a wedding planner?

Your Wedding in Orlando and hiring a wedding planner in Orlando.

When it comes to planning a wedding, couples fall into many categories from “I have no idea what I’m doing” to “I think I can plan weddings for a living.” No matter where you fall, hiring a planner is always a good idea. In fact, if you choose your planner wisely, it can actually end up saving you stress and money.

Here are just a few ways an experienced wedding planner with strong connections in the industry can help.

1. Planners can stretch and protect your budget

When you have planners who know what they’re doing, knowledgeable planners can stretch your budget by helping you spend on items that will have more impact, rather than insignificant but pricey items. Planners will also review contracts to check for liability coverage, make sure you are protected and do not incur unexpected costs of the day.  

2. Planners know your wedding vision and keep everything on track  

Your planners have been by your side during the whole process. They know your vision and will work to create that vision for you no matter what. They are your partner and you can depend on them to think like you would. Things can go wrong, but a good planners are focused on creating solutions, problem solving and will tackle the challenges to make sure your dream comes true.

3. Planners can keep things stress-free  

Your planners will iron out last minute details with all your vendors, handle issues and manage your set-up. They are also good at wrangling the wedding party so they are prompt and understand their roles in the rehearsal, ceremony and photos.  All you have to do is show up, and have fun getting ready for your friends and family.

4. Planners can save you money 

Planners know what things cost and can negotiate with your vendors and caterer to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

5. We use our relationships to protect your day  

Wedding Planners have  most of the control in the industry since they are the connection between couples and vendors. Planners are repeat customers; the vendors aim to please them so they are given more business. If in the event your flowers arrive wilted, we would turn them away. If your cake is melted or leaning, we will ensure it gets fixed. If your lighting is not strong or the proper color scheme, we will ask for extra lighting and the couple is not charged for it. We use our relationships to protect your day.

6. Experience Counts 

With experience comes wisdom. Planners learn something new at every event and become familiar with the rules and regulations of venues. They are also highly familiar with working with other vendors, which ones are easy to work with, and which ones are well respected. Hiring a seasoned wedding planner will ensure your event will go off without a hitch.

Most wedding planners offer several packages, from full planning to day of service only. Depending on your needs, wants and budget, you can choose the option that works for you. Always research planners and meet with them to see if there is a connection. After all; during and even after your wedding they will be your right hand woman (or man) for the most important day of your life. They are with you before, during and afterwards.  In most instances; life-long working relationship with your planners turn into a life long friendship.  Wonderful Weddings & Events has been in business for 27 years and counting.

Schedule a complimentary planning session and see what our experience can bring to your event.

Real weddings we have coordinated:

Weddings at Church Street Ballroom

Weddings at Church Street Ballroom Wonderful Weddings


Wonderful Weddings & Events
Wedding Design, Management, Planning and Coordination


Jennifer Sharpe
Wedding & Event Manager
Office: 407.629.1849 / Cell: 407.415.4222
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 10am – 6pm (or by appointment)